NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home

"I am impressed by the quality of applicants I have received and value the skills in leadership, backcountry camping, problem solving, and outdoor activities that NOLS alumni bring to the participants and staff in my program." — Sara Grube, Adventure Program Director, YMCA Camp Chingachgook


The NOLS Alumni Jobsnetwork is a free, subscription-based email broadcast service. As such, there is not currently a searchable list of open positions. Subscribers see positions when they are broadcast— they come right into their email, in a simple digest version, on the day openings are posted. Positions are re-broadcast about every four weeks, or until the position closes. Twitter alerts are also available— follow "nols_jobnetwork" for tweets on new openings.

To sign up for this career service, alumni should click here and page down the subscription list to enroll.

If you're an outdoor-related employer looking to get your open position(s) out to ~13,000 job-seeking NOLS alumni, click here for what you need to do. Other sites charge hundreds of dollars for a year's worth of job posts. How does the NOLS Jobsnetwork's cost of "free" sound to you?

Employers: wouldn't it be nice to hire someone who's spent weeks (or months) in the backcountry, has technical skills, knows outdoor gear, practices conservation skills, takes initiative and has actually lead folks in the outdoors?

Sounds like a NOLS grad to me.

Who are the ~13,000 NOLS Alumni Jobsnetwork subscribers?


• 53% are female

• 56% are 23-32 years old

• 66% are grads of NOLS' extended wilderness programs

• 56% have a college degree

• 16% hold advanced degrees

• 35% have NOLS Wilderness Medicine training

• 98.8% find this service valuable


NOLS reserves the right to accept or decline any subscriber or posting. No NOLS endorsement is given or implied to any position or organization mentioned as part of the NOLS Alumni Jobsnetwork service. Applicants are advised to thoroughly research employment offers and organizations.


Here's some description of the 3,200+ different positions from 800+ organizations recently advertised:


In the US:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Wow, that's 48 States!

Outside of the US:

Canada's provinces— British Columbia and Ontario, as well as Britain, Grenada, Belize, Ecuador, Anguilla, Dominican Republic, Kuwait, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Taiwan, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and the Galapagos Islands.

Position Titles (well, it's a smattering, not the whole list):

Wilderness Instructor, Rock Climbing Instructor, Canoe Instructor, Camp Staff, Intern, Recreation Manager, Winter Skills Instructor, Naturalist, Assistant Ski School Director, Executive Director, Recreation Specialist, Operations Manager, Teacher, Field Instructor, Legislative Intern, Adventure Travel Intern, Rations Assistant, Equipment Manager, Camp Cook, First Aid Technician, Lift Operator, Challenge Course Facilitators, Earth Science Teacher, Director of Wilderness Experience, Outdoor Retail Associate, Web Technician, Store Manager, Trails Construction, Legal/Conservation Program Assistant, Guide Trainee, Sled Dog Handler, Skiing Waiter, Youth Counselor, Ski Area Guest Services, French-speaking Wilderness Guide, Ski Patrol, Wrangler, Transportation Coordinator, Circus Trouper, Bike Tour Leader, Outdoor Science Instructor, Marine Science Instructor, Camp Medic, Admissions Officer, Alumni Relations Intern, Parks & Recreation Instructor, Assistant Professor, Snowboard Instructors, Community Outreach Coordinator, Marketing Rep, Graduate Assistant, Director of Development, Policy Analyst, Llama Outfitter, Lifeguard, Regional Director, Student Mentor, Canoe/Kayak Instructor, Backpacking Instructor, Fly Fishing Instructor, State Park Ranger, Preserve Manager, Wilderness Ranger, Network Engineer, Caretaker (22 miles from the road!) and Telemark Guru...


Don't you wish you'd gotten the scoop on these and other outdoor employment opportunities? Go ahead, sign up today. Turn your passion into your profession.


And finally, please help us keep this jobsnetworking service active. Consider donating a few dollars on-line to the NOLS Annual Fund— your aid lets our non-profit maintain and expand alumni services. Thanks, it really makes a difference.


Does the phrase "Champagne powder" get your pulse racing? If so, examine some winter NOLS options—free your heel and the mind will follow...
Photo: Rich Brame




Tips for Getting Hired in Outdoor Education:

Get the highest level of wilderness medicine certification possible. Employers are looking for WFR and above.

Get some teaching experience - camps, outdoor clubs, and Red Cross First Aid programs are good places for novices to gain experience.

Write compelling cover letters - do your organization homework and speak in specifics.

Broaden your expertise - climb and paddle, or backpack and study natural sciences, or canoe and fly fish. Skill versatility makes you attractive.

When you speak with someone or interview about a job, ask intelligent questions. This is your chance to show you're engaged with the industry, this employer, how you best fit and the details of the job.

Employers prefer (generally not require) college graduates.

Professionalism counts- even when working in the outdoors. Your appearance, speech, writing and lifetime's worth of Google-able blog rants (yes, employers routinely search the internet for applicants' electronic footprints) can make or break your work options no matter how great a paddler or climber you may be.





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